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Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

NMCC wins battle of unbeatens

Sunday, May 2, 2010

(Photo)
New Madrid County Central's Dallas Campbell slides safely into third base as Delta's Rachel Bartels catches the ball in the seventh inning on Friday afternoon at Delta.
(David Jenkins, Staff)
DELTA -- With unbeaten softball teams New Madrid County Central and Delta locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel, all it was going to take was one big play to win the game. Fortunately for NMCC, that play came from freshman Dallas Campbell.

Campbell led off the seventh inning with a double and came around to score, giving the Lady Eagles a 1-0 win and while keeping their record an unblemished 14-0.

Coming through in the clutch is no stranger to Campbell. Just two days after scoring the lone run in NMCC's 1-0 win over previously unbeaten Kennett, Campbell stepped to the plate in the top of the seventh and sent a Kendra Burnett pitch sailing just over the outstretched arms of the Delta left fielder. Instead of stopping at first, Campbell streaked to second and slid in just under the throw with a double.

The freshman said she was looking for a fastball from Burnett, who had been keeping NMCC hitters off balance with her change-up all game.

"I'm not too good with those change-ups," Campbell said. "I just knew that I had to score."

Campbell then got to third when senior Courtney Robinson laid down a sacrifice bunt. After a strike out, fellow freshman Meredith Stanley, who had two hits on the day, sent a fly ball into right field that scored Campbell and proved to be enough for the Lady Eagles.

"I was looking for a change-up," Stanley said about her final at-bat. "She didn't throw one at me but I was looking for one. All I was thinking about was 'hit the ball.' We had to get one run in at least."

"We hustled into a few good plays for ourselves," said NMCC coach Steve Rogers. "Dallas started a big rally against Kennett and started a big rally today. Meredith Stanley was great with two hits and a sac fly. We've just got a great freshman class and I've been preaching that all year and the last couple of games they have really payed off."

Prior to the seventh, the game had been dominated by Burnett and NMCC starting pitcher Kelly Robey as both pitchers were dominating opposing hitters and working out of any trouble that arose.

Delta (11-1) looked as if they were primed to score in the bottom of the fifth inning when Ashley Glaus walked with one out and promptly stole second. She then advanced to third on a wild pitch, but Robey beared down and struck out the next hitter to end the threat.

"I knew coming into the game it was going to be a pitcher's duel and it was going to come to one window of opportunity to score which we missed," said Delta coach Laura Brown.

NMCC had several chances to score as well, including Robey and Lawrence both reaching base on hits in the first inning. However, Burnett was able to get a strike out to end the inning. For the game, Burnett struck out 12 while giving up five hits and walking none.

"I knew she was up for the challenge today," Brown said. "It doesn't matter who is in the batter's box, she is always ready to make the adjustments, throw hard, move the ball and never leave it in the same place twice."

NMCC looked to have another opportunity in the sixth inning when Lawrence hit a sinking line drive to center field. However Delta center fielder Katie Brucker made a difficult, lunging catch to save an extra-base hit.

"I never had a doubt in my mind that ball wouldn't hit the grass, not for one second," Brown said. "That is Katie Brucker. That girl would play with broken arms, broken legs, she doesn't care. She is going to give far and above what anybody could ask."

NMCC's Robey was her normal impressive self, not allowing a hit in the contest while striking out a whopping 19 hitters and walking three.

"Kelly was stellar on the mound," Rogers said. "What balls they hit and put in play we fielded well. We had a pretty good defensive day again. It was just a great, great ballgame."

The game wasn't scheduled to take place until yesterday when both teams found themselves with a cancellation. It was a game that Rogers was eager to play.

"(Delta) has an excellent team," Rogers said. "We knew it was going to be a tough game and we took it on short notice but we wanted to see who was the best in Southeast Missouri. With us beating Kennett 1-0 and Delta today 1-0, we're the best right now."

NMCC 000 000 1 -- 1 5 1

Delta 000 000 0 -- 0 0 1

WP -- Kelly Robey. LP -- Kendra Burnett. Multiple hitters -- (N) Meredith Stanley 2-2. 2B -- (N) Dallas Campbell.